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Tom is the senior member of Thompson Hine’s Office of General Counsel and its loss prevention partner. As a member of the firm’s Business Litigation practice group, he has counseled and represented numerous attorneys on malpractice, ethics and business issues. He is a past chair of the Defense Research Institute’s Lawyers’ Professionalism and Ethics Committee and Law Firm Counsel Subcommittee.

Needing to adjust the basis of your legal fee mid-stream is a fairly common occurrence.  When a matter becomes more complicated than you originally contemplated,  or for other reasons, the fee agreement you entered into with the client at the beginning may become unworkable before the matter is over.

But renegotiating fees with an existing

As widely reported in the news, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last month harshly rebuked an Illinois lawyer for submitting a rambling 86-page appellate brief that the court said was “incoherent” and “gibberish.”  Quotes from the brief indeed made it appear deficient.  (One section, said the court, consisted solely of the heading “GAMESMANSHIP” and 

Five businesses filed suit earlier this month in a Texas federal district court against Morrison & Foerster, a 1,000+-lawyer mega-firm headquartered in San Francisco.  The case is unremarkable in most ways: on the one hand, former clients who assert wrongdoing in how the law firm handled their matters (including billing improprieties) and a less–than-desirable outcome

You’ve probably read about the New York Times reporter who says that he overheard lawyers for President Donald Trump discuss the ongoing Russia investigation at a Washington, D.C. restaurant, and then reported on the talk — which revealed details of a strategy debate, the alleged existence of documents “locked in a safe,” and other purported

The opening brief has been filed in a Fourth Circuit appeal that’s sure to be closely watched by the 100,000 members of the D.C. bar, as well as others. A key issue in Moskowitz v. Jacobson Holman PLLC is whether a law firm partnership agreement can reduce a partner’s equity payout if the partner walks out the door with clients. The district court said that the provision violates ethics rules, and is therefore unenforceable as against public policy.
Continue Reading 4th Circuit to decide whether forfeiture clause in partnership agreement violates D.C. ethics rules

Marijuana pileLast year, we discussed the pitfalls of trying to cash in on the marijuana bandwagon.

We discussed both the seemingly inevitable grassroots movement toward legalization, but also the fact that the bars of several states had come to contradictory conclusions on attorneys’ ability to assist clients in grass-related business ventures, given that growing, possessing

floridaSometimes our lessons come in more bizarre ways than others. As reported by Law360 last week (subscription required), three Florida lawyers were charged by disciplinary authorities over a January 2013 incident involving the firm’s paralegal. The three lawyers were defending defamation claims against their client, who was a local radio talk show host known as